New Delhi: National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Oil Corporation for transcontinental relocation of ‘Cheetah’ in its historical range in India from Africia.
According to the official statement Indian Oil will be contributing over Rs 50 crore in 4 years for the project components viz. Cheetah Introduction, its Habitat Management & Protection, Eco Development, Staff Training and Veterinary Healthcare.
The total cost of the project is currently Rs 75 crore.
The decision was in continuation with the MoU signed on 20th July 2022 between the Government and the Republic of Namibia on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization, for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India.
Indian Oil is the first corporate which has come forward to support the “Project Cheetah” under CSR, as the project has not only national importance but is also essential for balancing the ecosystem.
Under this project, a source population of 8-10 Cheetahs will be flown in from Namibia and South Africa and will be introduced at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
It is a national project involving National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Center government and the State Government of Madhya Pradesh.
“The Cheetah introduction project in Kuno National Park involves creating a 500-hectare predator proof enclosure for a ‘soft release’ of the feline” its said.
Introduction would commence in a phased manner with few individuals after construction of the soft release enclosure and augmentation of protection, while other actions are under way.
“Cheetah has a very special significance for the national conservation ethic and ethos. Understanding this, Indian Oil is aiding the cause of bringing the Cheetah back to India, which would have equally important conservation ramifications. Cheetah restoration will be part of a prototype for restoration of original cheetah habitats and their biodiversity, helping to stem the degradation and rapid loss of biodiversity” the Ministry said in a statement.
It may be noted that Indian Oil adopted Indian Single Horned Rhino as its mascot last year and, since then, has been at the forefront of India’s Rhino conservation endeavors.